Best of Boulder County 2011 – Fitness/Health



Charley Cropley, ND

1109 Portland Place, 303-442-6161

Runner-up: Rolf Institute

Think about most of the
doctors you’ve been to over the years. How many were more than 60 years
old? How many were in awesome shape? And how many were both? Unless
you’ve been to see Dr. Charley Cropley lately, we’re guessing the answer to that last one is “zero.” Cropley
has been a practicing naturopathic physician in the Denver/Boulder area
for the past 25 years, and he’s his own best advertising. In better
shape than most guys half his age (or younger), the results of his
natural, nutrition-based methods are evident whenever he takes off his
shirt. Rolf Institute is the runner-up in this category, while Great
Wave Accupuncture takes third, Chautauqua Health takes fourth, and
Helios Integrated Medicine snags fifth.


Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1750 30th St., # 22, 855-888-8553

Runner-up: Way of the Crane

So what’s the difference
between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu?
While both martial arts are similar in a lot of ways, Brazilian
jiu-jitsu was designed to focus on body leverage for people to control
opponents bigger and stronger than they are, while Japanese jiu-jitsu
was designed to help you defend yourself against people with weapons.
And there isn’t a better place to learn the Brazilian martial art than Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The instructors are professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, UFC and MMA
competitors who hold black belts trained under the infamous Gracie
family. Even if Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t your bag, they also teach Muy
Thai Boxing, self-defense, mixed-martial arts and fitness classes. Way
of the Crane, the oldest and longest running martial arts schools in
Boulder was our runner-up, and Tran’s Martial Arts came in third place.
Boulder Aikikai placed fourth in our survey, with Boulder Fung Fu
coming in fifth.


The Joint

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite C2,


Runner-up: Swan Lake Chiropractic Clinic

There are licensed
chiropractors in all 50 states, as well as the nation’s capital. So
whether you’re glacier climbing in the wilds of Alaska, shaking it a
bit too hard at a Louisiana street party or just rubbing elbows a
little too vigorously with the fat cats in D.C, you can find a
practitioner to put you back together. And if you need to see a
chiropractor in Boulder County, our readers suggest The Joint,
known for quick, professional service and affordable prices. So climb
those Flatirons till the sun goes down, mountain bike from here to
Longs Peak and play as many pick-up games of hoops as you want. The
doctors at The Joint have got your back. Runner-up Swan Lake
Chiropractic Clinic also offers top-notch service. Third place goes to
Café of Life, fourth to Duggan Chiropractic and fifth to North Boulder


Boulder Ballet

2590 Walnut St., Suite 10, 303-443-0028

Runner-up: Alchemy of Movement

Looking for a place to
help your little sugarplum channel some of that young, feverish energy?
Or maybe feeling inspired to prance and pirouette yourself? Check out
this year’s winner for Best Dance Studio, Boulder Ballet. The
school has four locations around the Boulder area and offers classes
from beginning to professional levels, while also putting on numerous
performances each year. Along with regular ballet classes, Boulder
Ballet hosts musical theater classes that focus on jazz, tap, character
dance in audition-style mixing classes, mime and juggling. The school
also has several programs for boys. Alchemy of Movement took runner-up
with its variety of self-expressive classes, and Streetside Studios
took third place. Ballet Nouveau pirouetted into fourth, and Community
Dance Collective jammed into fifth.


St. Julien Hotel & Spa

900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696

Runner-up: Essentiels Spa

The spa at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa isn’t
your grandma’s day spa. With a 10,000-square-foot spa and fitness area,
which includes a pool, cardio machines, a steam room, and a
full-service salon, it has everything you need to look and feel your
best. The hotel’s spa offers escapes that range from an hour-long
massage to a full day of pampering, with products made from Colorado
ingredients. Services include hydrating wraps made from natural,
organic ingredients; aromatherapy and Swedish massages, body scrubs,
and various other skin and hair packages for any kind of treatment you
may want. Our runner-up is Essentiels Spa, well known for experienced
estheticians and tranquility. In third place is Ten 20, where you can
watch Sex in the City while nibbling M&Ms. Sensorielle scooped up
fourth place, and Finishing Touch finishes in fifth place.


Comfort Dental

3400 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-2129

And other locations

Runner-up: North Boulder Dental

The phrase “like going to
the dentist” obviously isn’t synonymous with “having an awesome rocking
party.” For most people, it’s nerve wracking, upsetting or at the very
least expensive as hell. But the next time you’re sitting in an
air-conditioned reception room, waiting for a highly trained dentists
with the latest medical equipment to take your x-rays and maybe fill a
cavity or two, try to remember something: Archeologists have found
evidence of dental drilling in teeth dating from as far back as 7,000 BC.
No Novocain, no rubber gloves, and no out-of-date issues of Us Weekly
to kill the time while you’re waiting for your turn in the chair. No
chair, either, but that probably goes without saying. With that in
mind, it’s easy to be grateful for places like Comfort Dental,
where not only can you expect safety, cleanliness and comfort, but even
decent reading in the waiting room. Our runner-up this year is North
Boulder Dental, while Boulder Smiles came in third. Alpine Dentistry
takes fourth place year, and Dr. Stephen Koral came in fifth.


Mount Sanitas

Half mile west of Fourth Street on Mapleton Avenue

Runner-up: Mesa Trail

When outsiders hear the
name Boulder, they think of more than liberal granola-crunchers and
raging CU parties. Yes, they really do. All stereotypes aside, anyone
who has visited the city will know that Boulder contains some of the
most beautiful scenery in the country. As if the snow-capped Rocky
Mountains weren’t majestic enough, Boulder’s Flatirons are a
distinguishing feature that is hard to forget. Mount Sanitas, a
3.1-mile loop, gives hikers a chance to see the Indian Peaks
wilderness, downtown Boulder and the Flatirons. The hike is rated
moderate to difficult, which is perfect for those wanting some healthy,
heart-pumping exercise in the middle of a busy workday or on sunny
weekend. The runner-up, Mesa Trail, is an equally gorgeous trail,
weaving along the base of the foothills from Chautauqua Park to
Eldorado Springs. This trail is almost seven miles one-way, has a
moderate difficulty rating and is perfect for exploring and taking in
the beauty of the mountains.


Flatirons Golf Course

5706 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-442-7851

Runner-up: Haystack Mountain Golf Course

The working week can be a
stressful 40 hours for a lot of people: meetings, phone calls,
deadlines, reports. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. So what better
way to relax on the weekend than to get outside, smell the fresh clean
air, the dew-soaked grass and enjoy a relaxing game of golf? When our
readers want to get their Arnold Palmer on, they head to Flatirons Golf Course,
an oasis of green just off Arapahoe Avenue. With daily specials and
online tee-time booking, hitting the links here couldn’t be easier.
(Whether you can birdie that shot is entirely up to you.) Runner-up
Haystack Mountain Golf Course in Niwot is another great place to
practice your long drive and precision putting. You might also want to
tee up at third place Boulder Country Club, fourth place Indian Peaks,
and fifth place Coal Creek — all popular destinations with our readers.


Colorado Athletic Club

1821 30th St., 303-501-1700

Runner-up: 24 Hour Fitness

The Colorado Athletic Club
in Boulder has only been open for a little over a year, but it’s
already stair-climbed its way into our cholesterol-free hearts. There
are many great gyms in Boulder, but the Colorado Athletic Club is
flexing its muscles with 70 group fitness classes, Yoga, Pilates,
Zumba, and a year-round outdoor pool. And the brand new facilities and
machines don’t hurt, either. (Well, the treadmill might hurt, but
still, no pain, no gain!) They’ve also got a spa perfect for a
post-workout rubdown to get rid of the lactic acids. 24 Hour Fitness,
the North Boulder favorite, is our runner-up, and the YMCA of Boulder
Valley took third place. North Boulder Recreation Center came in
fourth, and Flatiron Athletic Club took fifth.


Twig Salon

1831 Pearl St., 303-447-0880

Runner-up: West End Salon

What is it about hair that
seems to say so much more about a person? How can something as trivial
as a bad hair day completely ruin our mood? For a species known as “the
hairless ape,” our society seems inordinately obsessed with the stuff
that grows out of the top of our heads (and everywhere else for that
matter). Whatever the reason, a good hairstyle makes anyone happier to
be a human, and if your own ’do isn’t doing you any favors, then look
no further than Twig Salon. They can take care of men’s and
women’s cuts, colors, highlights and shaves all in an eco-friendly
facility. For those of us concerned with the hair growing in other
places, Twig also offers waxing services of all kinds. Runner-up goes
to West End Salon, with Urban Pearl Salon and Spa in third. Rumours
Hair Studio takes fourth place, while Pompadours Hair Salon Aveda comes
in fifth.


Boulder Eyes

1810 30th St. Suite B, 303-499-2020

Runner-up: Boulder Eye Surgeons

Sure, glasses can be a
great fashion accessory. Just ask Rivers Cuomo or Tina Fey. And, hey,
Elton John sure had fun with them. But as stylish as they are,
sometimes glasses just get in the way. They break, get lost, pick up
scratches and really aren’t great for skiing or rock climbing. Over the
course of a lifetime, they’re frickin’ expensive, too. So if you want
to ditch the frames, check out Boulder Eyes and see if LASIK
eye surgery is an option for you. And if you really love the glasses
looks, do what the hipsters are doing: chunky black frames with no
lenses. Those clever kids. Our runner-up is Boulder Eye Surgeons. In
third place, readers chose Insight Lasik, while Eye Care Center of
Northern Colorado came in fourth.


St. Julien Hotel and Spa

900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696

Runner-up: Essentiels Spa

While many know the St. Julien Hotel and Spa
for its excellence in jazz, dancing and sleeping spaces, our readers
say the downtown staple is also the best place to get a massage in
Boulder. St. Julien Hotel and Spa offers therapeutic massage, couples’
massage that includes champagne and roses, and a girls’ getaway
massage, as well as classic Swedish Massage, deep tissue massage and
hot stone massage. Even the most stressed Boulderites will find the
tension melt away when they place themselves in the hands of the spa’s
staff. Our runner-up was Essentiels Spa, another great option for those
days when you need a bit of pampering and tranquility. In third place
is the Boulder College of Massage, and coming in fourth is Massage
Specialists. Massage Envy took fifth place.


Boulder Community Hospital

1100 Balsam Ave., 303-440-2273

Runner-up: Foothills Community Hospital

No one
wants to be sick. And certainly no one wants to find themselves facing
long-term health problems or surgery. But luckily for us, we have a
host of top-notch medical facilities to choose from, like this year’s
winner, Boulder Community Hospital. Community owned and cutting
edge, there’s a lot to love about BCH. Even the neighborhood — homey
north Boulder — is a plus. So if you do get sick, need surgery or (more
happily) are about to have a baby, this is a pretty great place to do
it. Our runner-up is Foothills Community Hospital, an offshoot of BCH.
Boulder Medical Center came in third, and Kaiser Permanente and Avista
Adventist took fourth and fifth, respectively.


The Dandelion

845 Walnut St., 303-459-4676

Runner-up: Boulder Kind Care

Winner of this year’s Best MMJ Referral Service, The Dandelion, didn’t
choose its name willy-nilly. The dandelion, much like its heavily
regulated and hotly debated cousin, cannabis, might not be the
prettiest plant to look at, but it has far more benefits for humans
than most people realize. So when you’re looking for a knowledgable
referral service, check out the place that understands what weeds are
all about. Runner-up Boulder Kind Care also takes good of their
patients. Third place in this all-write-in category goes to Holos
Health, fourth place to Relaxed Clarity and fifth place to GrassRoots
Medical Clinic.


The Dandelion

845 Walnut St., 303-459-4676

Runner-up: High Grade Alternatives

With the stiff
competition, tangled maze of ordinances and skyrocketing operating
fees, you’d have to be as resilient as a dandelion to survive in the
medical marijuana industry. Which might be why The Dandelion,
winner of multiple Best of Boulder awards this year, is not only
surviving, but thriving. With reasonable prices and skilled staff, The
Dandelion delivers quality medicine and care to its MMJ patients. In
second place, voters chose High Grade Alternatives, and in a close
third is Boulder Kind Care. The Farm got fourth place, and Helping
Hands earned fifth.


Eldora Mountain Resort

2861 Eldora Ski Rd., 303-440-8700

Runner-up: Vail Ski Resort

There’s no question that
Colorado has some of the best skiing and riding in the world. We
Coloradans are proud of this fact and often spend our weekends (or sick
days) shredding through powder in the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Yet
even the most die-hard skiers can become disheartened when they sit in
I-70 traffic for hours on end. Eldora Mountain Resort offers
the same beautiful scenery and snow as the larger resorts, but at a
cheaper price and without the traffic hassle. It is the best
alternative to those who want to have a quick and satisfying ski day.
Eldora is slightly more than 20 miles outside of Boulder and is perfect
for beginners and experts alike. For those who don’t mind the traffic
or have a mountain home, Vail Ski Resort is the obvious second choice.
It is larger than most of the other resorts combined, and the runs seem
to last forever as you glide through the glistening snow, incredible
back bowls and inviting tree runs. Readers voted Winter Park/Mary Jane
Resort as third place. Copper Mountain took fourth place, and fifth
place was snagged by Breckenridge Ski Resort.


Walker Ranch

Six miles southwest of Boulder

Runner-up: Marshall Mesa

Isn’t it hilarious that the best mountain biking trail in Boulder is named Walker Ranch? Walker?
Get it? Because it’s a trail for bikes, see. Isn’t that funny? No? Not
even a chuckle? Fine, forget we even brought it up. Just take our word
for it that it’s a great, 6.4-mile trail with amazing scenery and a
good mix of terrain. Keep in mind that it’s suited for intermediate to
advanced riders, and weather conditions can change quickly. Runner-up
Marshall Mesa cruised (like it’s on a bike, get it? Oh, never mind)
into second place, while Heil Ranch rolled into third, and Hall Ranch
tied with Betasso for fourth place. West Magnolia got fifth.


Boulder Bodyworks

3020 Carbon Pl., Suite 330,


Runner-up: Bolder Pilates

Sometimes, you just need a
little “me time,” which may mean indulging in a massage, sweating out
your worries in a workout class or getting a helping hand through
physical therapy. This year’s winner of Best Pilates Studio, Boulder Bodyworks,
has you covered for those needs with the help of experienced, certified
instructors who teach privately or for small groups. Boulder Bodyworks
offers 12 different kinds of massages to relax and rejuvenate, yoga and
Pilates classes to tone and tighten, as well as physical therapy
training. They are now helping you get your “me time” from their new
location in the Steel Yards. In second place this year is Bolder
Pilates, and in third is North Boulder Pilates. Pilates of Boulder took
fourth, followed by the Pilates Center, which came in fifth.


Avanti Skin Center

of Boulder

2595 Canyon Blvd., #360


Runner-up: Six Persimmons

If you want to have
healthy, beautiful skin, you need to take care of it, just like
anything else. Colorado’s dry climate doesn’t always make that easy.
Factor in an active, outdoors lifestyle, and it gets even more
difficult: A long, windy day on the slopes can turn even the prettiest
princess into a frog, while UV radiation speeds signs of aging. Avanti Skin Center of Boulder
works hard to take you from leather to lovely, offering everything from
Botox to “liquid” facelifts to laser hair removal. For a deeply natural
skin-care regimen, visit second-place winner Six Persimmons Apothecary
on Pearl Street. Marianna’s L’Esthetique came in third place,
Dermatology Specialists took fourth, and iV Seasons completes the top


The Parlour

1037 Walnut St., 303-444-3747

Runner-up: Voodoo Hair Lounge

Human hair grows slowly,
about a half-inch per month on average. No wonder so many people are
nervous about getting a haircut. Once you sit down in the chair at The
Parlour, though, you can put your mind at ease. The stylists here take
their craft seriously, and their ongoing education program covers all
aspects of advanced hairdressing. Earlier this year, the salon brought
in world-renowned, New York-based stylist Nick Arrojo for a weekend of
advanced training and demonstrations, all to make sure you walk away
with a fabulous look. Talk about commitment! The Parlour also offers
skin care and waxing services, as well as wedding day packages for
brides-to-be. Runner-up Voodoo Hair Lounge, located on Pearl Street,
can work some wickedly good magic on your hair, no matter what style
you’re looking for. Rounding out the top five, readers chose Salon
Salon for third place, Rubicon for fourth and Salon Sabiha for fifth.


Veranda Sun

1670 30th St., 303-447-8844

Runner-up: Tans to Go

It might be surprising
that a place like Boulder, which gets more than 300 days of sunshine
every year, needs even one tanning salon. Unfortunately, a large
portion of those sunshiny days happen when the thermometer is hovering
around the freezing point. And no matter how dedicated you are to
getting a glowing tan, sunbathing in the snow isn’t really an option
(unless you’re very drunk, a Siberian native, or both). So during the
winter — and the summer, if you can’t handle the scorching temps we
sometimes see — grab your bikini or swim trunks and head over to Veranda Sun
for a beautiful bronze glow. Runner-up Tans To Go can get you ready for
summer, too. Who wants to hit the beach looking paler than a fish
belly? The name says it all at third-place Hottie Body Tans. Taking
fourth place is Polish Tan & Nail Spa, while Le Tan takes fifth.


Humane Society of Boulder Valley

2323 55th. St., 303-442-4030

Runner-up: Alpine Hospital for Animals

Between leash-less jogs
down Boulder Creek and searching for organic catnip, it is clear that
pet guardians in Boulder take their jobs very seriously. And when it
happens that a furry friend needs some help healing, residents leave
behind their medical marijuana cards and turn to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley,
where certified veterinarians work their magic. This nonprofit clinic
tends to the medical needs of creatures of all shapes and species,
offering everything from dentistry to dermatology. The clinic is open
Monday through Saturday by appointment only and expects payments in
full. To make critter care something universally accessible, the clinic
has recently implemented a CareCredit payment option that allows for
progressive payments on medical bills and special prices for qualifying
low-income families. Revenue from the clinic goes directly back to the
Humane Society of Boulder Valley to maintain the health and wellness of
homeless animals from near and far. Runner-up Alpine Hospital for
Animals takes their mission just as seriously, as do the third-,
fourth- and fifth-place winners: Boulder Natural Animal, Gunbarrel
Veterinary Clinic and Broadway Animal Hospital.


CorePower Yoga

1129 13th St., 303-440-8952

645 27th Way, 303-497-9642

3280 28th St., 303-440-3930

Runner-up: Yoga Pod

Yoga is as popular in
Boulder as recycling, and there’s little wonder why. Spend 90 minutes
stretching muscles you never knew you had and try not to emerge relaxed. This is easily one of the most competitive categories in our Best of Boulder vote, and CorePower Yoga
once again emerges victorious. With nearly 50 studios around the
country, CorePower has become a force in educating people about the
mental and physical benefits of yoga. If you want to get serious,
CorePower also offers retreats, instructor training and intense
wellness cleanses. For an alternative to the yoga chain, runner-up Yoga
Pod offers classes in a smaller, funkier environment. Om Time Yoga came
in third, Studio Be Yoga got fourth, and Bikram’s Yoga College of India
came in fifth.


Boulder Rock Club

2829 Mapleton Ave., 303-447-2804

Runner-up: The Spot Bouldering Gym

Author Jeff Achey wrote,
“Writers go to New York. Actors go to Hollywood. Climbers go to
Colorado.” Well, if that’s the case, then Boulder must be a climber’s
mecca. One group helping the die-hards of the area make their
pilgrimage is the Boulder Rock Club, this year’s winner of Best
Indoor Climbing Gym. They offer classes for kids and adults, as well as
various membership opportunities. Even if you are a recent convert to
the world of climbing, not to worry — the BRC has courses specifically
designed to help rookies learn the basics of climbing and belaying for
both indoor and outdoor settings. In second place is The Spot
Bouldering Gym, with its freestanding walls, and in third place is
Movement Climbing and Fitness. Lakeshore Athletic Club won fourth, and
Colorado Athletic Training School won fifth.